Current Campaign

12.07.2019 - Grimsby Town F.C. Youth Development Association Golf Day

To all intent and purposes the 2019-20 Campaign began at what has become an integral part of the Histon Mariner Campaign, at Grimsby Golf Club, this year on Friday 12th July. Landbeach Mariner Andy Dickson led his depleted band of desperado’s northwards in support of the great efforts of Steve Fenty and his team who organise The Grimsby Town Golf Day, raising funds for The Youth Development Association.
Michael Jolley was the only manager of the 92 League clubs to play 3 scholars in the first team in the 2018-2019 season. The progress being made of so much home-grown talent in and around the first team is testimony to the great work of Neil Woods and his team. The Histon Mariners are proud to be able to “do their bit”.

Mr.Dickson, this year dispensed with a chauffeur, which he declared would ensure dinning at his favoured venue without getting lost in the car park - “no one does it better”.

Surprisingly Mr.D only stopped once for sustenance en route.
However after "the kingsize full English”, he could not resist the sweet display, into which he made considerable inroads.
“An Engine needs stoking”
Prior to commencement, Mr.Pearson proved to be of a sturdy enough constitution to support Mr.D. much to the admiration of golfing aficionados Brian Nunn and Ian Coutts.

It was a great compliment to the Histon Mariner Campaign that such Golfing Legends as Brian and Ian we’re keen to partner Messrs. D & P.

One would not have believed such a glorious sunny day could have been brightened up any more, however the appearance of some of the rich and famous of N.E.Lincs proved such an assumption to be a fallacy. Not only was the day brightened up even more but the level of sporting prowess on display beggared belief.

The Jolley Boyz Quartet would provide stiff/rigor-mortis competition for The Histon Mariners. Judith C., Mike R., Paul and Stuart W., had received expert coaching and guidance from Pete R. who stayed in the clubhouse with a ready supply of tea and bacon rolls, in conference with Histon Mariner Logistic Manager.

Anxious that Judith would adhere to the playing route rather than the tourist route, Team Manager Pete made the shrewd announcement beforehand that Paul would lead as Group Commander with First Mate Stuart in admiral support.

Supisingly Mr.Dickson despite the import of local knowledge and guile, did not lead the Histon Mariners to glory on the course. Afterwards at dinner, he did provide an insightful and illuminating analysis, between oversize courses, to anyone who would listen.

Mr.Pearson having heard much (if not all) before appears a little less attentive than enthralled team mates Ian Coutts and Brian Nunn.
Mr.Pearson commiserates with Brian and applauds his tenacity for ‘sticking it out’.
Mariner Legend Tony Ford was on hand to congratulate Jolley Boyz leg-end Paul for getting round the course.

Amidst the golfing myths and legends, the serious business of the forthcoming season was considered. Histon Mariner Logistics Director passed on the thoughts and ideas of the Chairman to a very appreciative Michael Jolley and Neil Woods.

Such was the intensity of the long, arduous day of dining, golfing and after-dinner speaking, that Mr.Dickson failed to notice that team mates Brian and Ian had successfully slipped away for respite care.

After much analysis and a modicum of liquid refreshment at Dock Beers, The Notts, Smugglers and Willy’s, Mr. Pearson with a final glass of chilled mineral water is able to pass on everyone’s gratitude to Mr.D. who himself, is finally able to relax with a nice warming cup of Ovaltine.

19 / 20.07.2019 - Mattie’s Final Pre-season Tour

Mattie invited Histon Mariner Logistics Director and Honorary Director, Ray The Fish for coordinating talks in York in order to keep the Chairman abreast of developments and the ongoing Campaign.

The pace and intensity of proceedings initiated by Mattie continues to inspire, motivate and drive on Histon Mariner Officials. With business being the Order Of The Day little time existed for recreational pursuits on the Friday. The choice of venues proved uplifting and assisted to create an optimistic, realistic outlook for the forthcoming season.

At The Maltings

At The Golden Fleece

At The Lamb & Lion Inn

At The Blue Boar

At The Guy Fawkes Inn

With business essentially completed on the Friday, Mattie encouraged a little ‘down time’ with the possibility of transcending the usual conventional thoughts regarding The Campaign.

Further discussions with Cropper and The Fish.
Mattie encourages Roy Cropper to think ahead, look to the future and prepare to brief the Chairman.

To seal a very productive weekend Mattie encourages Histon Mariner Logistics Manager in a brief moment of relaxation.

The success of the seminars held in York encouraged, The Fish to report to Blundel and confer with The Mighty Mariners prior to the seasons kick-off.
Max Wright, club Captain James McKeown, Michael Jolley and Andrew Limbrick found The Fish’s report stimulating and a helpful input to pre-seasons preparations.

See :

03.08.2019 Morecambr 0 v 2 GTFC

Opening fixture unattended due to prearranged booking in church for a Christening in Windsor.

  1. Swindon away was hoped for as the first game - would have held out some hope of attending.
  2. With many more games in the season, politics necessitated cards were played correctly.
  3. A perfect place to pray for good fortune.
  4. A Christening on the first weekend of the season - ‘a sign’ ?

10.08.19 GTFC 1 v 1 Bradford City

GTFC v Bradford City Ticket
GTFC v Bradford City Ticket

A great challenge for the first home game, against many people’s favourite for promotion. The Histon Mariners travelled north with cautious optimism and a focused sense of realism.
Considering his efforts in the past week at Whaley Bridge, it was a remarkable effort for The Histon Mariner Director of Urban Regeneration and Engineering Projects (UREP) to travel north. However with new ground rumors prevalent his attendance was welcomed (see, GTFC v Oldham 18-9-2018 last season......!!!)

Enroute to Cleethorpes Mr. O’M discusses with Derby Mariner Dan ongoing developments.

It was no great surprise that news had reached Cleethorpes in advance and the desire to welcome Francis M. was all too evident.

At ‘Think Bubbles’ (Stuart B.’s favourite Women’s Boutique.) local celebrity, Tina, welcomes Mr.O’M.
Outside The Notts XXXX thanks Francis O. for his outstanding dedication.
At McMenemys Town Legend Dave Boleyn passes on his thanks.
Dave Roberts from The Mariners Trust and Kitman Paul, raise an ‘Orange Juice’ in support of the UREP Director.
Lloyd Griffiths appears star-struck at meeting Mr.O.
Even after the game Club Captain James McKeown, found time to pass on the players regards to a rather bashful Francis.

A performance that couldn’t fail to raise optimism was a fitting way to start off the home programme. Recently relegated Bradford City we’re heavily tipped before the seasons start, to return to Division 3, and were thought to provide an early indication of Town’s potential.
The evidence would suggest Town can be genuinely optimistic about the forthcoming season.

To say a team should have won is not as realistic as saying a team could have won. The Mighty Mariners were the better team. The Mighty Mariners will not be bullied this season. The Mighty Mariners appear to possess ‘a great dressing room’ and a real desire. The Mighty Mariners went a goal down - heads didn’t drop and unlike recent times looked distinctly able to fight back and score. In fact, The Mighty Mariners were a little unfortunate not to have collected all three points.

All 11 players (and subs) put in a real shift. All should be mentioned but Town looked fairly solid at the back, were very competitive in midfield, look to have a real threat upfront and as ever when called upon the Club Captain fully justified his recent contract extension.

James Hanson’s equaliser should be the first of a decent return over the forthcoming season and his partnership with Matt Green already holds out much hope.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : (Pick one from many but) MATT GREEN

Post-match the overriding opinion echoed the above script and The Histon Mariners were particularly pleased to renew acquaintance with Melbourne Mariner Dave Kenwery.

Because of an early rail return south, post-match analysis was shortened but intense. At The New Imperial Club, Top Restaurateur Paul, using his insightful and shrewd outlook was keen to point out the role played by Mr. O’Munnelly, to fellow Mariners.

At the same time Daz was hit with a powerful double onslaught of information and was unable to contain his excitement:

  1. The insightful analysis of top restaurateur Paul.
  2. The news announced by 2 old antiques Phillip S. and Sean that the Histon Mariners would be at Headingly for the Test Match the day prior to GTFC v Port Vale, where 2 old antiques, Nick and Daz would also be...!!!

Jolley Times ahead.


League Cup Round 1 - 13.8.19 GTFC 1 v 0 Doncaster Rovers

17.08.19 Forest Green 1 v 0 GTFC

20.08.19 GTFC 2 v 2 Colchester

24.08.19 GTFC 5 v 2 Port Vale

GTFC v Port Vale Ticket
GTFC v Port Vale Ticket

Unfortunately the eagerly anticipated link up of the Histon Mariners with representatives from the New Imperial Club (Daz, Nick and a couple of old antiques) at Headingley the previous day failed to materialise. Excuses given include difficulty of manoeuvre inside the ground, excess intake of energy drinks, poor phone reception, excessive intake of vitamin C, heatstroke, excessive intake of all liquid refreshment and the need to stay close to the latrines. An opportunity missed but we live to confer another day - as did the England team courtesy of Ben Stokes.

Saturday morning continued the gloriously sunny Bank-Holiday week-end. The Mighty Mariners at home, base camp waiting to receive us, fine refreshment venues to be taken advantage of and attentive hospitality at McMenemys supplemented by superb Haddock & Chips masquerading as Whale & Chips..... it couldn’t get any better - could it?

As ever the excellent Kingsway Hotel welcomed The Histon Mariners with Web-Master, Mr.H. and close associate Walter returning to the scene of past adventures. Anxious to take advantage of the weather, they were soon reminiscing about the “good ole days” over a chilled spring water outside Willy’s.

The Webmaster with the benefit of of considerable inside knowledge was able to update Walter on developments.
Likewise at ‘Think Bubbles’, Tina continued to expand on future plans of The Campaign In Cleethorpes and explain the continuing absence of Stuart B. due to Mrs.B’s year long birthday!

Onto the Trust Bar at Blundel where the Logistics Director met The Jolley Boyz to confirm intricate arrangements for forthcoming excursions to Salford and Plymouth... (to be continued).

Meanwhile, the current Webmaster, Mr. H. met previous incumbent Tef Man in order to compare notes. Walter’s admiration was obvious to all...
Mighty Mariner as ever welcomed The Histon Mariners. Walter could barely hide his emotional admiration as the day continued to unfold.
The level of activity was all consuming but amidst the flurry, Squire Hasland displaying immense calm, not only concluded arrangements for his latest entry into Burke’s Peerage but also outlined plans for the trip to Walsall (which worryingly involved a taxi!)
In McMenemys Akeem Rose and Ludvig Ohman were delighted to welcome Histon Mariner duo Kevin and Dave.

At the end of an even first half the teams went in at 1 v 1. Seemingly the current strategy of giving the opposition a goal start continued - the giving nature of Town was certainly to the fore BUT it needs attention and a remedy.

The Chairman reflects on the 1st half with his new friend over cheese & biscuits.

However, unlike last season when a goal down brought forth the doom-mongers to call for team changes, to sack the manager, to out back-room staff, demand a change of ownership (again), to re-emphasise the need for a new ground, to re-organise the ticket-office staff, to change the ground management team, to oust the outdated Trust Committee and the existing bar arrangements, to press the urgency to increase the transfer budget, update all catering facilities inside Blundel and critically change the positioning of the programme seller on the corner outside Blundel opposite MacDonalds, this season there appears to be belief that Town are more resilient with goals in the team and consequently are never out of the game.

Jordon Cook, playing in mid-field equalised from a free kick and reminded fans that there is often a goal in him. Cook provided a creative alternative in mid-field, hopefully an injury free season will enable him to play a full part in the trawl ahead.

The second half moved up from 1st to 4th gear by virtue of a transformed Town. With The Hess seemingly in control, trickery from Moses Ogbu, James Hanson standing firm up front and Matt Green’s rador, sniffing for goals, The Mighty Mariners produced 4 second half goals

  • A poachers finish from Ogbu AND a world-class celebration.
  • From a counter attack, engineered by Pollock’s towering header, Matt Green’s clinical finish was another quality goal which Town fans are starting to get used to from him.
  • Luke Waterfall’s well directed header, re-emphasised Town’s airial presence at set pieces.
  • James Hanson’s controlled finish owed all to the lightning pace and accurate setting up of Max Wright.

The normally stone face professional Chairman, cracks a smile after the 2nd halfs mighty performance.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : MOSES OGBU

(for the goal celebration alone)

Before the match it was thought the day could not get any better......

.......after the match, The Mighty Mariners were in the play off plaices and Division 4’s highest goal scorers. Lincoln had lost. Scunthorpe had lost. Cambridge had lost. Manure Utd had lost. Continued sunshine at Cleethorpes, analysis and recuperation at the finest refreshment venues still to come. had got better (and England were still fighting, the Ashes were not lost yet!!!)

Post match, Messrs Hoppett & Thompson, the well known double act, took advantage of a quiet moment in The Trust Bar to reflect on the days proceedings, taking onboard insightful contributions from The Old Gits.

The contribution made to post-match analysis by the The Ole Gits should never be under estimated. It invariably reflects their vast experience accumulated over many many years, their ability to conceptualise proceedings born from their multi-talented abilities across the sporting spectrum, and is always gladly taken on board by the Histon Mariners.
Here Pete, Paul and Stuart (not Mary) risk elevating discussions about “Leaving On A Jet Plane” without any contribution from Judith C.

Jolley Boy Paul took the opportunity to introduce fellow legend James Hansont to the Histon Mariners......
.....whilst Paul continued confidential discussions elsewhere, Jordon Cook thanked Big Dave and the Webmaster for their ongoing efforts.

Ongoing analysis at The New Imperial Club as ever proved enlightened and informative. The whirlwind nature of the days proceedings had at some point to ease-up and no more suitable venue than Dock Beers provided Walter and Mr. H with the appropriate surroundings to rehydrate, recap and fully absorb the days proceedings.

See : Dock Beers

Unrelentingly The Histon Mariners marched onto The Notts and in conference with Senior Cleethorpes Impressario Nigel Lowther, continued to discuss, plan and formulate aspects of future elements of The Campaign.

See :

It can only be admired that the self sacrifice, mental torment and physical toll endured by The Histon Mariners is taken on by its members for the collective good. The ongoing support from those often cited in these reports only adds weight (considerable) and experience (decades) to the ongoing efforts and is always appreciated.

Outside Willy’s the intrepid duo finally unwind with a cup of Horlicks before retiring.

N.B. A conspicuous clue suggests that once again Roy Cropper was ‘in the chair’.

The morning after the night before saw a continuation of the magnificent weather. Jake and Elwood took time to partake of the Mediterranean Sunshine - albeit behind significant shades - and bask in the knowledge that “The Band Looked Back Together”

The morning after the night before part 2! Saw the Chairman take a time out on route back home, the excitement of yesterdays game and celebrations into the evening had taken their tole.


League Cup Round 2 - 27.08.19 GTFC v Macclesfield Town

Appreciation of the influence of Town’s latest signing Luke Waterfall has until now probably been underestimated. There can be no doubt from here on in.

The match was abandoned during half-time because of a deluge that left the hallowed turf resembling a rice field.

Town are in the hat for Round 3....!!!

Onwards and Upwards

31.08.2019 Walsall 1 v 3 GTFC

GTFC Ticket
Walsall v GTFC Ticket

The first official awayday of the season for The Histon Mariners witnessed their first visit to the home of The Saddlers, the Bescot Stadium which replaced Fellows Park in 1990.

Britains first Wurlitzer theatre organ was unveiled in The New Picture House Cinema Walsall, in 1908. Walsall’s breweries include Beowulf and The Backyard Brewhouse.

Like so many clubs - Bury being simply the latest - Walsall has had its share of off-field shenanigans. From the original amalgamation of Walsall Swifts and Walsall Town in 1888, through to the ‘harebrained’ ground-share scheme with Wolves, which gave rise to to the successful, ‘Save Walsall Action Group’ in 1982.
Walsall acquired Leigh Pomlett as new owner in July 2019 following the end of Jeff Bonser’s 28 year leadership.

Players for both clubs include Chris Nichol, Jordon Cook, Andy Cook and Simeon Jackson. But the stand out footballing connection has to be the management of Alan Buckley whose 1000+ games managed include 337 for Walsall and 600 for The Mighty Mariners. Also as the fruits of Neil Woods labours appear to be growing by the day, his youth work at both clubs should not be underestimated.

Pre-arranged strategic manoeuvres began at Birmingham New Street where Squire Hasland assisted by TefMan appeared naturally at ease ‘in control of proceedings’.

The Post Office Vaults a most agreeable prematch venue.
TM proposes a toast to optimism, which caused some amusement to the Earl.
Enroute to the Bescott, Wakefield Mariner Jason, was astonished at the extent of TefMans optimism who predicted a victory by 2 goals.

The B&W Army (772) once again made its presence felt with cautious optimism to the fore.

The well known double act ‘The Voices Of Reason’, gave the thumbs up for Towns prospects - we thank them both for curtailing their travel arrangements in order to attend together.
Agent 007.5 out of necessity keeping a low profile, witnesses fledgling agent Rebekah’s more open attitude.

The Campaign enthusiastically embraces inter-club relations, no more so than in the current climate exemplified by the fortunes of Bury and Bolton Wanderers. Many other clubs are experiencing very testing circumstances, The Spirites being one. Long standing admirer of The Histon Mariners Campaign has been Chesterfield Joe. It was as ever great to see him at The Bescot Stadium and in particular Akeem Rose’s magnificent gesture in welcoming him on behalf of the The Mighty Mariners.

The Histon Mariners deplore social media attacks on C.J. His admiration of Town’s progress and embracing of The Campaign enables him to feel increasingly at home with The Mariners at a time of turmoil at the Proact Stadium. Cynics may think otherwise but any inheritance due, will be scrupulously administered by The Earl’s Legal and Financial Team ...!

“We’ll give you a lead,
We’ll give you a lead,
We’re Grimsby Town,
  We’ll give you a lead.”

It only took 5 minutes for Town’s benevolence to emerge again. Whilst the soft goal gave the Saddlers a lead, such is the growing feeling within the B&W Army, that “Game on” rather than “Here we go again” appeared to be the order of the day.
The Mighty Mariner response was immediate and Matt Green was soon denied by a great save. Driven on as ever by The Hess and with Elliot Hewitt’s contribution becoming more apparent game by game, Town were the better side in the first half and deserved the equaliser from Elliot Whitehouse.
Unsurprisingly the home side tried to grasp the initiative after the break. Ohman and Waterfall belied the fact that this was the first time their partnership had been tested and Mckeown was not seriously tested.
Matt Green put the ball on a plate for the very impressive James Hanson, to roll back the years and powerfully head Town into the lead.
Substitute Max Wright - in the process of earning the title SuperSub - using his pace won a penalty which Hanson converted and in the process secured another 3 points.

Grimsby Town the leagues top scorers.
James Hanson top scorer in the league.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : JAMES HANSON

A terrific 3 points, a very encouraging performance, evident resilience, a proper goal threat and a team spirit that looks very positive. The B&W Army deserves to grow in confidence but hopefully restrains expectations within realistic boundaries.

Such is the confidence that abounds, after the match even Caistor Mariner, Pez was able to sitback and relax!



None available                      0/10    Surprised at away following!

Alternative Cheeseburger     1/10    Particularly poor. Unlikely to find worse this season.

                                               No sauces. No salt. No pepper.


Michael Jolley’s B&W Army marches on its stomach.

The Histon Mariners can only deplore the situation that Bury finds itself in. It appears at this stage that the best that can be hoped for is another club, out of necessity, rising from the ashes - it is difficult to see any other scenario. We wish them good luck. Bury must be the tip of a sizeable iceberg - 72 clubs increasingly distanced from Premier treasures. Be very very careful what is wished for..... Trophy 03.09.2019 GTFC 1 v 2 Scunthorpe United

07.09.2019 GTFC 0 v 2 Crewe Alexandra

League Cup Round 2 10.09.2019 GTFC 5 v 4 Macclesfield Town

“Up the Mariners,
   Up the Mariners”

Next Round Chelsea (a)..............UTMM.

14.09.2019 Oldham Athletic 2 v 2 GTFC

Oldham Athletic v GTFC Ticket
Oldham Athletic v GTFC Ticket

Oldham is a town with perfectly acceptable pre-match preparation venues though Boundary Park is a bit of a chore to get to Aldham's premier breweryis J.W.Lees.
In a region where recent football stories are less than encouraging (Bury and Bolton Wanderers), the recent plight of Oldham Athletic has an air of impending familiarity about it.
Oldham had 10 managers from 2010 until a 2018 takeover.
New owner, former Moroccan football agent Abdallah Lemsagam took the club over on 26th January 2018.
Oldham have had 5 managerial changes in the 18 months following the takeover.
     - from June 2017 Ritchie Wellens.
     - from June 2018 Frankie Burn.
     - from Dec. 2018 Pete Wild.
     - from Feb. 2019 Paul Scholes.
     - from March 2019 Pete Wild.
     - from June 2019 the French Laurent Banide with assistant Bouziane Bernaraibi.
       Banide had managed 10 clubs since 2006-07 and was appointed on a 1 year contract.

The above scenario must be viewed by Latics supporters with great concern, especially in the existing climate of football club well-being.


Players who have played for both the Mariners and the Latics include Paul Wilkinson, Terrel Forbes, Danny Boshell and currently the once Histon Mariner sponsored Zac Mills.

A return visit to the excellent Ashton Arms was further justified by the appearance of some formidable members of the B&W Army.

Scunthorpe Mariner, Glynn marvels at the unending pearls of wisdom, flowing from the Squire of Hasland.
York Mariner, Dave points out to Gareth the benefits of taking on board the incoherent ramblings of the Squirearchy.

Another outstanding turnout of the B&W Army (783) reflects an underlying positive feeling (albeit cautiously so).
A gloriously sunny day inevitably heightens the prevailing optimism and in keeping, Shadi and Paul Fenty welcome Cropper to another episode of the ongoing Campaign, (plus unidentified intrusive enthusiastic member (presumably) of the B&W Army)

Inside, Stan Laurel lookalike Fazakerley Mariner - ‘ever the optimist !’- predicts a goal rout.
Purley Mariner Tony (not quite Oliver Hardy) a little less ebullient.
Doncaster Paul looks a touch amused/cynical as Tefman gives his usual two goal victory prediction.
Purley Chairman continues to weigh-up proceedings
Ever present, Mariner Bill poses confidently between the well known Louth double-act, a thoughtful Jason & shy Alister.
Lonely Stuart looks out in hope rather than expectation for ‘missing’ mates.

After a stirring opening of exchanges, when James Hanson should have given Town the lead the prevailing confidence appeared justified.
However out of 10 games up until this game only twice had Town opened the scoring. Thus unsurprisingly Oldham took the lead, producing the statistic, only twice out of 11 games have Town taken the lead. Changes made to the team immediately began to be questioned yet....
....the enforced absence of Matt Green, Jordon Cook and Harry Clifton retuning from Welsh duty, necessitated a shuffle of the pack. It is easy to be critical. Fine margins are simply that, fine margins. Fans invariably search for simple answers but subjectivity is what feeds burning questions within a football debate. Retrospective analysis can always pontificate on what should have been, what could have been. In the same way, one could always have won the lottery, just as if my Auntie had had bollocks she would have been my uncle!
A work in progress, progress via incremental steps - in M.J. we trust.
Town were not overrun - match statistics actually suggest an even game.

The second half continued in much the same way as the first and Oldham extended their lead in the 66th minute. Yet still many held onto hopes of a comeback - one certainty that has grown amongst significant sections of supporters this season, is a belief that the current squad never know when it is beaten!
Apart from recent examples of fighting back, that belief is a justification of transfer policy that has produced,
      1 - Better attacking players.
      2 - Greater aerial threat especially from dead ball play scenarios.
      3 - Better quality options from the bench.

With only 9 minutes left substitute Jordon Cook fanned the burning embers of revival to create the roaring flames of a comeback.
The improved aerial presence resulted in Ludvig Ohman’s debut goal in the first minute of extra time.
A draw clutched from the jaws of defeat, for optimists is a desirable quality of a good team - pessimists look back to analyse the errors that preceded the comeback.

Trial and error are part of management in any walk of life. A half full glass is more uplifting than a half empty glass!

Overall the performance was not one that will be talked of over the forthcoming years. Elliot Whitehouse, like a few others played in an unfamiliar role but typified the team spirit. Probably preferred his usual position, didn’t look articularly comfortable with the changed pattern but gave 100% throughout.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : ELLIOT WHITEHOUSE

Managers are condemned for having no Plan B or C. Managers are condemned if they try alternatives - IF THEY DON’T WORK.

You’re dammed if you do. You’re dammed if you don’t !

Afterwards inevitably felt like a victory. The B&W Army marches on (actually 12.5 miles to Moor Lane, Salford next Tuesday)

Caistor Mariner Pez’s display of ‘youthful exuberance’, knows no bounds as he dances towards the exit.
The experienced Sgt.Dodd convenes a post match gathering to put things into perspective. An elderly lady can only wonder at the antics of ‘The Dancing Squire’. Gareth expresses characteristic caution. TefMan reiterates his two goal prediction.
The Elderly Lady provides motherly re-assurance to the ‘Dancing Squire’ Sgt.Dodd as ever, ‘calm under pressure’.

In the spirit of The Campaign, Post-match analysis was summoned by The Squire in the Oldham Events Centre, a hospitable venue for Latic supporters.

The Squire and Tefman wait at the servery for someone to purchase!
The Squire gave serious consideration to a very animated but erudite presentation given by Doncaster Paul...
....whilst ‘The Logistical Twins’ compare notes.
N.B. The half-empty glass!

The Campaign is always willing and able to build bridges with supporters of Real Football. Trawling through old stories, conversing about shared problems in the contemporary game and debating the latest battle is the life-blood of OUR game.

Histon Mariner Logistic Director with Latics old and new Jeff and Patrick.

See :

With reinforced vigour for The Campaign, the foot soldiers moved on to pastures new. At Oldham Central Metro Stop, concern was raised as to the possibility of problematic ongoing connection difficulties. The combined experience of The Squire and his Tour Manager soon confidently allayed fears and expressed an urgent need for further discussions at a venue tbc.

Further refreshment at The Beer House on Manchester Victoria Station seemed to enhance profound insights into a vast array of footballing and non-footballing topics but alas time was not best kept track of and the potential for a logistical crisis arose for the Histon Mariners. With such a crisis on the horizon it was no surprise that ‘The Engine’ rose to the challenge. A summary of the best available options was produced - the professionalism of Gareth clearly demonstrated his unique role in The Squires Platoon.

N.B. The Engine had no responsibility for the poor performance of the rail network. The
        Manchester to Doncaster leg of the journey was late, the connection to Peterborough
        missed. YET AGAIN the joy of a 2 hour black-cab ride to Cambridge had to be endured,
        as on 23-3-19 v Bury, when the Cleethorpes-Doncaster leg failed to make the same of joys.

Why do we do it ? Because we support Real Football and obviously The Mighty Mariners!




'Meat' & Potato                  2/10    Difficult to determine if the offering was vegetarian.
(1 of 3 choices)                            Temperature of volcanic proportions, induced a burnt mouth

                                                     Drinks likewise on the verge of running out.
                                                     “Unaware” of away following!

                                                     No sauces. No salt. No pepper.


‘We march on together. Up The Mighty Mariners.

17.9.2019 Salford City 1 v 0 GTFC

Salford City v GTFC Ticket
Salford City v GTFC Ticket

Until the 18/19th centuries Salford was a more significant town than its noisy neighbours Manchester. Royalist Salford v Parliamentarian Manchester was a major divide probably reflecting their relevant status at that time.
Salford opened the first free public library in Britain (1850). Karl Marx and Frederick Engels studied in Salford. No doubt the River Irwell, virtually an open sewer meandering though the two adjoining Cities, helped give their writings a distinctive flavour...
Seven Brothers Brewery is Salfords main brewery.

Salford now probably better known for L.S.Lowry, Coronation Street and Salford Lads Club vis-a-vis The Smiths, ‘The Queen Is Dead’. The classic film ‘East to East’ was set in Salford.
2 victims of the Munich Air Crash were Salford born - Eddie Coleman and Geoff Bent.

Originally founded as Salford Central in 1940, becoming Salford Amateurs (hence ‘the Ammies’), and finally Salford City in 1989. The Peninsula Stadium, Moor Lane became home in 1978.

It is the recent change of ownership that has brought The Ammies to the forefront of public attention.
    March 2004 Butt, Giggs, the Nevilles’ and Scholes took a 10% stake each in the Club.
    Sept. 2004 Peter Lim ( owner of Valencia F.C.) took a 50% share.
    June 2019 Beckham acquired a 10% stake.
Red & White (surprisingly) became the club colours replacing the original tangerine and white.

Playing Salford, the epitome of the changing nature of Real Football, it is difficult to not have thoughts about teams in the region such as Bury, Bolton, Stockport County and Wrexham.

With such a limited history there are few players who have played for both clubs but Nathan Pond and Matt Green are a very credible start.

The Histon Mariners had planned a marathon expedition. At 0715hrs. train to Peterborough, to Doncaster, to Cleethorpes. Chauffeured taxi from Cleethorpes Station, courtesy of Tour Guide David ‘JC’ Roberts, to Base Camp, The Kingsway. To Waltham to meet up with the rest of The Jolley Boyz and the renowned Supporters Travel Club Coach courtesy of Group Commander Terry Hall.

However a blip at the outset. When setting off for the station, it was discovered that bolt croppers had been used overnight to remove a bicycle from Cambridge home base, necessitating a taxi ride to the station. Other than that the late summer sunshine encouraged a sense of well-being and positivity for the journey ahead.

On arrival at a sun drenched Cleethorpes station, Tour Guide ‘JC’ was on standby to collect. Driven to Blundel to collect multiple tickets for Chelsea - a sizeable Histon Mariner expedition, - a ticket for Exeter and it was revealed a booking for The Chairman and associates in October for the visit of Leyton Orient!
The Logistics Director had applied a copious amount of oil to the mechanics of an intense forward programme.

A most agreeable first visit to the Farmhouse New Waltham for The Histon Mariners was only made better by teaming up with The Jolley Boyz, a duel operation that may well signal future cooperation.....

The infamous spreadsheet of Jolley Boyz Head Tour Guide, ensures a well drilled unit on manoeuvres.
As Big Steve studies instructions, New Waltham LegEnd, Tony, checks on anticipated temperatures - as one who tends to feel the cold!

Fully refreshed and briefed, joint maneuvers continued alongside Ray The Fish and GTFC Travel Club Committee Members, Janice, Moira and Mick. The comfort stop at Birch Services was an indication of the B&W Army dedication to duty.

At Birch ServicesTerry Hall was on hand to welcome the troops.
Grimsby Town Centre Mariner Michael Owen in tandem with long-standing associate of The Histon Mariners, the ever present Gerry.
Lisa and Jason lament the absence of McMenemy Mike but press on regardless.
A meeting of Old Gitz with mugs of Complan, reminisce about past campaigns alongside the likes of colleagues from Walmington-On-Sea.
“They don’t like it up ‘em’.

Arrival at The Peninsula Stadium was in such good time, it wasn’t open! Troops assembled in a distinctly sedate and orderly fashion whilst the stewards searched for the missing keys for the lock.

Stuart and Big Steve look rather hopefully towards Paul for inspiration.
A rare solo mission for Louth Mariner Alister in the absence of Jason - allegedly lost in Norfolk....

Once the keys to the ground were located, entrance was permitted - perhaps the arrival of the Mighty Mariners had been forgotten about.

Disparate members of the B&W Army soon began to merge into a coherent well drilled unit.

Ray The Fish meets up with Goxhill Mariner, Jim Guildersone.
The pair have a long standing association built up in a remote Curry House, almost 4/5 days ago.
East Halton Mariners Bill and Mandy coordinate tactics for a forthcoming visit to West London.
As ever, the Teflon sponsored Ian indulged in the name of research.
As ever, ‘A Voice of Reason’ with an authoritative input to The Pie Report.
Prior to kickoff a wonderful gesture by Town Legend Sean Pearson to greet The Fish and express his appreciation for his many years of devotion to The Campaign.

                                           “A Tale Of Two Free Kicks”
Without doubt Town started out the brighter of the two sides. Matt Green forced a good save early on as Town applied early pressure. But as at Oldham and again against the run of play Town conceded this time directly from a free kick.
Now only twice in 12 games have Town taken the lead this season!

Salford appeared content to sit back and hold onto their lead and it must be admitted The Mighty Mariners found it difficult to counteract.
Clearcut chances were few and matters hardly improved when Öhman was forced to leave the pitch with what looked a serious injury.

(With Harry Davis still out, now Ludwig Öhman and Luke Waterfall Cup-tied, the forthcoming trip to West London has the familiar ring as the trip to South London had last season. Hopefully there will be no VAR!)

Questions about Hewitt for Öhman needed to consider Hendrie at Centre Back as a possible solution in the League Cup and also the benefit of Hewitts delivery into the box.

4 minutes into the second half Jordon Cook’s superb equalising free kick stood for only 3 minutes. After celebrating, lining up for the restart, the goal being announced over the tannoy system, the fourth official approached the referee who then ruled out the goal.
The recently acquired need to urgently impose a new rule at the start of each season, this year decreed a player can not encroach on an opposition wall. This rule was invoked by the fourth official - Matt Green being the guilty party.
If the decision was correct, then so be it.

 BUT,  1) If the fourth official intervened at the instigation of a managers complaint,
               a dangerous precedent occurs because why then would a manager not
               complain about every foul, free kick, handball etc
           2) The rules of football have evolved on a utilitarian basis for over a
                century. Why do the powers that be, feel the need to tweak a rule at the
                start of every season?

Not only was the potential momentum swing from that equalising goal lost, Salford continued to play 10/11 players behind the ball, which was either a sad reflection on their ambition or concern of The Mighty Mariners.The possession statistics (66%) reflect a fairly consistent onslaught by Town but a diet of half chances were not converted. Luke Waterfall forced the keeper into his best save of the match in the dying moments.
It is true, Town’s forwards did not have their best day but they had few scraps to feed off.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : LUKE WATERFALL

Post match frustration - JC struggles to coordinate his group of disparate individuals. Paul struggles to get instructions from JC.
Stuart awaits instructions. Paul looks for inspiration.



Meat & Potato                  6/10    Vague traces of non-vegetable matter.
(1 of 3 choices)                           Perfect temperature.

                                                    Reasonable choice of liquid refreshment.

N.B. We were the first to be served, once the keys to the stadium were found.

                                                    No sauces. No salt. No pepper.


The first visit to The Peninsula was memorable for reasons other than the result. Once the troops were rounded up and shepherded back onto the bus by JC, the tone of the post match analysis was inevitable.

The journey home rekindled memories of school trips and a Mums packed lunches. The Fish produced a veritable feast, prepared unexpectedly by Mrs Fish - once a mum always a mum.
(why did my Mum always put cucumber/tomato in my sandwiches which would inevitability be sat on, making the bread even more soggy?)

21.09.2019 GTFC 1 v 0 Macclesfield Town (Again)

League Cup Round 3 - 25.09.2019 Chelsea 7 v 1 GTFC

Chelsea v GTFC Ticket
Chelsea v GTFC Ticket

Not every thing in Chelsea has always revolved around conspicuous consumption, ‘Sloane Rangers’, Russian Oligarchs and tiresome ‘non celebrity’ gibberish like ‘Made In Chelsea’.

The Chelsea Royal Hospital, a Christopher Wren building commissioned by Charles II, is now the home of the Chelsea flower show.
Chelsea had the first porcelain workshop in England until it was sold and moved to Derby in 1769 - an association renewed in reverse when Frank Lampard left Derby County for Chelsea in the summer of 2019.
The Chelsea Bun House was a Georgian hotspot in the mid/late 18th century and it is estimated to have sold 250,000 of the famous Chelsea Buns on its last trading Good Friday in 1839!

Alas the famous Chelsea Barracks have succumb to the apparent way of things and been bought by a property group from Qatar.

There are no breweries in Chelsea postcodes.

Chelsea FC was founded in 1905. Having bought the site, it was offered to Fulham who turned the opportunity down. As a result Gus Mears formed his own club, Chelsea, in the pub opposite the ground, The Rising Sun now called The Butchers Hook.

Players for both clubs include Hughes Gallacher, Mike Brolly, goalkeepers Steve Sherwood and Dave Beasant, Darren Barnard, Stevo Livingston and Steve Watts.
Towns playing record v The Pensioners: P43 W14 D8 L21.

A formidable array of talent ventured forth to Stamford Bridge on behalf of the Histon Mariners.
The Logistics Director, using considerable local knowledge had preplanned a cultural visit to an underplayed part of West London that would surely facilitate the days proceedings.

Anglo-Italian Mariner and master craftsman, Giuseppe Piran was briefed by Landbeach Mariner, Andy. Obviously his geographical knowledge of the terrain proved enlightening and for anyone who listened the value of his catering experience could never be under-estimated.

Mr. D. rarely disappoints!
G.P.’s level of expectation rose accordingly.
Shaun had heard most of information before........several times.

Maneuvers were conducted along Hammersmith Mall. Given the time restraints and the plethora of excellent venues the Cross Keys and Black Lion were by-passed and The Old Ship was adopted as base camp.

Fellow Anglo-Italian Mariner Baggio joins Giuseppe in Mr.D’s first refreshment stop. Shaun appears to have been there before!
(N.B. “An engine needs stoking”).
After numerous courses, Mr.D. is joined by Harry H. They decide The Campaign should spread its fins.
The Anglo-Italian contingent look impressed. Shaun cannot believe his eyes.

En-route to the famous Dove, 19 Upper Mall, world renowned craftsman Giuseppe P. was enthralled to see the home of the Wm. Morris Society - near his home - at 26 Upper Mall, plus the site of the Morris created Kelmscott Press next door to the Dove.

Inside the Dove, Mr. P. discusses his work and fascination with a blow-up plastic haddock.

A meeting up of the Histon Mariners with Chesterton Mariners should never be a surprise. Nor should The Squire of Hasland’s remarkably consistent orienteering skills. On this occasion his desire to visit Putney Bridge (as opposed to Hammersmith Bridge immediately adjacent to the Dove) was overruled by Junior Management.

A bemused Squire takes stock whilst a restful and relieved Becky with Charlotte (minus hair extensions), in contact with regular child minder Chesterfield Joe, indulge in afternoon tea.

Afternoon tea on the terrace overlooking The Thames proved a very popular spot for analysis and assessment.

Gareth takes instruction from Becky.
Baggio and Shaun marvel at proceedings...!
The Logistics Director considers Mr.D.’s catering proposals.
The Squire looks towards Putney.
Tefman, ever the diplomat, says nothing.
Squire Roy recounts “Tales From Haslands Top Night Spot”.
Baggio takes notes to relay to work colleagues.
Harry watches the river and reminisces about his early years as a haddock.
Shaun points out that the Dove housed the writer of “Land Of Hope & Glory”.
Harry thanked The Dove staff for their hospitality before moving on to meet other expectant admirers.
The Blue Anchor was to prove an excellent venue for final pre-match sustenance.
Ben and Aggie can barely contain contain themselves, offering Harry a welcoming glass of Thames Water.
Mr.D. forges ahead, whilst Shaun ensures no delay between courses.
A spellbound Giuseppe in awe at Shaun’s devotion to duty.
The Anglo-Italian contingent operate in unison to ensure no ‘back-tracking’ (1)
As the B&W Army marches on, debutant Giuseppe is left open mouthed.
The Anglo-Italian contingent in tandem to ensure no ‘back-tracking’ (2)

Inside Stamford Bridge The B&W Army prepare with a sense of realism, fully aware of the importance of the forthcoming Saturday venture at top of the table Exeter.

‘Youthful(?)’ exuberance from Sutton Mariner.
A more measured Mr. & Mrs Fish.
Harry explains proceedings to Baggio.
An over excited Italian compatriot indicates he can’t believe his eyes.
A brace of Moore’s. One young, dynamic and Histon Mariner sponsored, the other is Andy.

With Exeter on the horizon coupled with realistic expectations, no matter what the result, belief in the progress being made by the current squad would remain undiminished.
The Chelsea team put out what appeared to reflect,
   1. An English Manager not underestimating the occasion
   2. A Manager looking to remove a monkey from his back,
       i.e. the need for a first home win.
   3. A Manager acknowledging the previous night victories
       of Colchester and Crawley over Tottenham and Stoke.
Town appeared to show a little too much respect and found themselves 2 down after only 6 minutes.

However a superb volley from Matt Green (hero), unexpectedly brought The Mighty Mariners back into the game and also saw a 15-20 minute spell whereby a more even contest appeared possible.
But a careless challenge in front of the referee on the edge of the box by Matt Green (villain), saw Town go in at half-time 1 v 3 down.
The third goal realistically changed the dynamics of the game - not in Towns favour.
At 1 v 2, Town could have thrown caution to the wind for 10/15 minutes in the hope of rattling the Premier hosts. But with a 2 goal cushion only one outcome was likely. Just before the hour, with a degree of inevitability, a fourth goal ended Towns run in the League Cup.
The final 15 minutes was a reflection of the gap between the upper echelons of the football pyramid and The Mighty Mariners. A gap that is unlikely to ever be truly bridged. A gap that many Real Football People (RFP) do not wish to be bridged - for as good as the visit to play Chelsea was, the next venture to Exeter will be a reconnection with reality for The Histon Mariner Campaign.

James McKeown conceded 7 but as is often the case when a team is on the receiving end of such a result, the goalkeeper plays well.
He probably kept the goals conceded down to single figures.
The Hess and Whitehouse chased and chased all night largely to no avail. The brief appearance of Max Wright only enhanced his reputation. The performance of fellow academy graduate Mattie Pollock was that of a seasoned campaigner. Against Chelsea, Pollock looked to be struggling for 25/30 minutes with a slight knock/cramp but carried on with little ill-effect.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : MATT POLLOCK

"His name is a fish"



Card only purchase point. No pie assessed !


Post-match spirits remained in good fettle and The B&W Army were ‘alive and kicking’, which was a state of mind rarely experienced at all, let alone all at the same time, by The Caistor Mariners. The Caistor Mariners mood of euphoria at their time of life, induced many to advise them to “Sit Down” and take it easy.

The trek home for many proved a testing experience well into the early hours. Reports of road closures and broken-down coaches made things worse for those travelling north. On this occasion The Histon Mariners had it relatively easy and were delighted to share the journey across London with Elliot Whitehouse and Jason - who survived a threat of ejection from a hospitality suite for cheering when Town scored!!!! - whose solo journey home ensured only 3 hours recuperation before work the next day.

The B&W Army marches on. Next stop Exeter.

28.09.2019 Exeter City 1 v 3 GTFC

Exeter City v GTFC Ticket
Exeter City v GTFC Ticket

The County Town of Devon on the River Exe came to the fore as a Roman base camp.

Heavily bombed in WW2, Exeter was ultimately saved from total destruction by night fighters, The ‘LWOW Eagle Owls, i.e. Polish Squadron 307 who were based at Exeter. The city of Lwow has the same motto as Exeter (“forever faithful”). Annually on the 15th November a Polish flag is flown from the Guildhall in honour of 307 Squadron.

Rugby Union is nowadays the dominant sport in Exeter. Exeter Chiefs Rugby Union Club attract average gates of 11,000


In the recently rebuilt Princesshay Shopping Centre, the Exeter Community Transport Association provides mobility scooters for those in need.....!!!

Exeter were founded in 1904. In July 1914 Exeter City went on an 8 game tour of South America - 4 games in Argentina and 4 games in Brazil.
The first game played by the Brazilian national team was on 21/07/1914 v Exeter City at The Laranjeiras Stadium in Rio, the home of Fluminense F.C. The result is disputed as being either 2 v 0 or 3 v 3(?). Other than that game the tour record was P7. W5. D1. L1.

Exeter were founding members in 1920 of the Third Division. Exeter are now fully owned by The Exeter City Supporters Trust and has a developing reputation for magnanimous hospitality.

Town secured promotion twice in games against Exeter.
    1) 1972:  3 v O. Two goals from Matt Tees and one from Lew Chatterley took Lawrie   
                   McMenamy’s team into Div. 3.
    2) 1991:  2 v 1. Two goals from Glen Cockerill took Alan Buckley’s team into Div. 2.

Unsurprisingly there is not an extensive list of players for both clubs but on the list are George McLean, George Hobson, Alan Barnett and Alan Priestley. John Newman of course managed both clubs.

A seemingly regular meeting of The Histon Mariners and Radio Humberside impresario, John Tondeur reoccurred at St.Davids, and continued onto St.James.

The search for suitable pre-match venues in Exeter is made easy by virtue of the Supporter run Centre Spot Bar. A credit to the club, a “Real’ venue

As the ‘main act’, a fully attired Hollywood welcomed the B&W Army to the Centre Spot and introduced.....
.....’Team Hospitality’, not as fearsome as they look.
John, Higgo, Neal & Hollywood.
Unlike the Mariners previous fixture, liquid and solid refreshment was readily available.



Devon/Cornish Pasty*                  8/10    Classic, always shortcrust, never flaky. When in Rome.....
     (1 of 3 choices)                                  Perfect temperature.

                                                               Very good choice of liquid refreshment.

                                                               No sauces. No salt. No pepper.

*N.B. It was said a Cornish Pasty is crimped along the edge.
         A Devon Pasty is crimped along the top.  Naturally a Devon Pasty was on offer!
         (Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story)


As ever the B&W Army travel far and wide. Fixtures in different locations give different exiles the opportunity to join The Campaign. An extreme location like Exeter (and soon Plymouth) gives those relatively isolated to attend alongside ‘regulars’ from far and wide.

Chesterfield Tefman confers with reborn cricketer Muswel Hill(billy) Scott about various sporting matters.
Adrian originally from Grimsby relives ‘experiences from the Bridge’ to Exeter Mariner Ritchie Mills and Co.Wicklow Mariner Pete.

Ex-naval man Adrian partook of hospitality at the ‘Premier’ Stamford Bridge along with his family. After Matt Greens unexpected wonder goal, which put the Mariners back in the game, unsurprisingly Adrian was up on his feet to celebrate. The celebration resulted in ejection from the suite and out of the ground! Trying to reason with straight-faced Steward Michael, about being with family, about the cost of his families day, about not offending or provoking anyone around him, about the uncontrollable joy of such a good goal getting a division 4 club back into the game against one of the alleged elite teams and about a career in the navy inculcating a natural respect for rules and regulations, the only response received from the arrogant Steward Michael was “If you can afford to pay these prices, you can afford to be thrown out!!!!!!!!!”

This was not the only example of such an approach. After Chelsea, on the tube journey home, Jason recounted his being threatened with ejection from hospitality for the same crime.
Herein is an example of the dislocation in the structure of football. The game of the people has been hijacked by the moneyed, football tourists, the media and hospitality focused administrators.

See :

Muswel Hill(billy) Scott discusses the recent England v Ireland Test Match with Co. Wicklow Mariner, Pete.
Renowned Tour Operator and Leading Jolley Boy, Mr.R points the way forward to a solo ™

It came to light via a confidential source that Jolley Boy Paul R. was absent from proceedings and sunning himself in Corfu. Formerly known as Billy, Paul was on a duel mission that revolved around a 3 day Cultural Tour d’Force of live music supplemented with liquid refreshment. A true example to us all - proof that love & romance is alive and well in Grimsby!!!

Outside, cocooned Jolley Boy Tony takes no chances despite there being zero chance of an artic freeze.
Adopting a Care In The Community ethos, Pete R. checks on the well being of Tony.

A surprise shuffle of the pack, clearly emphasising a desire for pace.
With Hanson, Green and Whithouse on the bench and Clifton carrying a knock, Wright, Rose, Robson, Ogbu and Cook would provide a different approach.
When such a bold change comes off a Manager is lauded, when it goes wrong the Manager is castigated. This day MJ was a hero.
Fine margins.

A well deserved 3 v 1 victory was a superb response to the League Cup exit. The tactical switch worked perfectly, two goals the result of pace on the break.
Ethan Roberts delightful strike from the edge of the box directly from a corner, may well have been transferred straight from the training ground. Exeter’s goal attempts rarely tested McKeown and the half time lead was well deserved.
As expected after half-time the home side sought to apply pressure but Waterfall and Pollock with admirable support from Hendrie and Gibson held firm.
The undoubted highlight of this period was birthday boy Matt Pollocks unbelievable goal-line clearance which he ‘chose’ to play off the bar!

Counter-attacking (previously called a breakaway), Akeem Rose’s through ball saw the speed of Wright get him goal side and be brought down for a penalty. conversion by Moses Ogbu - cue goal celebration!
The third goal, set up again by the speed of Wright plus a terrific centre to Ogbu whose lay-off to Robson, saw him net his third in 2 league games.

A late consultation goal for The Grecians meant the desired clean sheet was not to be - a small blemish on a marvelous day.

The physicality and foul play endured by Max Wright throughout the game raises concern about the likelihood of future serious injury.
The role of referees will be crucial.
It is often a compliant that Town are on the wrong side of decisions from a poor group of League 2 referees. Against The Grecians Brett Huxtable was a good a referee as experienced this season - this aside from a penalty that was denied to Exeter!

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : MAX WRIGHT

“He’s one of our own”

At full-time The Mighty Mariners were keen to show their appreciation Luke Waterfall, Akeem Rose and tube travelling companion Elliot Whitehouse applaud the Histon Mariners.

The Centre Spot proved to have a magnetic attraction for many Mariners after the game.

TefMan and Grecian Steve share refreshment & analysis.
RFP thrive in such places.
A ‘Fishy’ Les from Grimsby with Walton-on-Thames Mariner Baz, and Tatsfield (Westerham) Mariner Pete applaud the bonhomie of The Centre Spot.



Steak Pie                  8/10    Real steak prevalent with enough gravy.
(1 of 3 choices)                    Temperature of volcanic proportions.

                                             Still some variety of liquid refreshment available.

                                              No sauces. No salt. No pepper.


A memorable day - weather, performance, result, hospitality, bonhomie - a day for Real Football People. Eventually the journey home had to be confronted. Reflecting on such a positive day could hardly be any better but to share the journey with Anthony Limbrick who was very relaxed engaging and interesting - even for an Aussie - was indeed a pleasure and provided a good layer of icing on an already excellent cake.

Such positive factors are well reflected on, on the long journeys home. Such days make all the efforts worthwhile. The Mighty Mariners March on.

05.10.19 GTFC v Mansfield Town Trophy - 08.10.19 Sunderland 3 v 2 GTFC

12.10.19 Stevenage v GTFC

Stevenage v GTFC Ticket
Stevenage v GTFC Ticket

As the first designated New Town after WW.2, Stevenage is perceived as the embodiment of post WW2 modernist development but it was was mentioned in The Doomsday Book of 1086.
Now, carrying the conspicuous burdens of postwar architectural fashion, the need for radical redevelopment is accepted but has been delayed since 2008 because of the recession.

Stevenage Borough F.C. formed 1976 following the demise of Stevenage Athletic. The Council bought the ground at Broadhall Way in 1977 following the bankruptcy. The ground was unused for 3 years after which the newly formed Stevenage Borough took up residence. The club was renamed Stevenage F.C. in 2010.
Champions of Division 5 in 1996 but forbidden to enter the Football League because of ground inadequacies. But 2009.10.11 saw back-to-back promotions reaching Division 3 play-offs and the 5th Round of the F.A. Cup.

Significant footballers born in Stevenage include Kevin Philips, Ashley Young and Jack Wiltshire. Lewis Hamilton was also born in Stevenage.

Players to have played for both include Tony Thorpe, Peter Winn, Sam Hatton and most recently Andrew Fox.

The only brewery in Stevenage is Bog Brew Beers. In terms of pre and post match campaigning venues, Stevenage is not awash with abundant choice. Knebworth - 2.5miles away provided an alternative option. The only brewery in Knebworth is Garden City Brewery.

In all a very typical away-day, which after the ‘ups’ of Walsall and Exeter, and the great days at Salford and Chelsea, should have been expected. In purely footballing terms Town went to Exeter and beat the top side who had not yet lost. On this day Town were playing the bottom side who had not yet won - ominous! Plus The Mighty Mariners had lost every time ever when playing at Stevenage - very ominous!!

The Histon and Chesterfield Mariners as prearranged, met at Stevenage railway station. The briefest discussion resulted in Knebworth being selected as having more suitable facilities for pre- match preparations.
Histon Logistics Director had solicited local intelligence which recommended ‘The Lytton Arms’ and ‘The Hoods’. Two taxi-drivers, three bar staff and one local had never heard of ‘The Hoods’. This apparent lack of local knowledge brought forth disparaging comments aimed at Histon’s source of intelligence.

The Lytton Arms proved a most satisfactory choice, to the extent that a solution to the mystery of ‘The Hoods’ was never sought.

N.B. It was later confirmed that the alleged existence of ‘The Hoods’ was meant to be ‘The Horns’ - close!

Once established in ‘The Lytton’ The Tef wasted no time complying with The Squires instructions, gathering relevant facts and figures over an uplifting English Breakfast Tea.
The Squire “attempted” to assist a floundering Engine procure a taxi. The Tef was not easily distracted and continued to concentrate on the task.


Inside The Lamex Ground, Doncaster Paul assisted The Tef gather the information requested by The Squire. Gareth continued to analyse taxi logistics. The Squire displayed inordinate patience.
Regular Gerry, appeared to have caught the ‘youthful bug’.
‘The Voices Of Reason’ double act contemplated Towns record at Stevenage’. ‘JC’ sought to reassure a nervous Chris.

                                                    Largely Woeful!
It has to be said that the first 45 minutes were the most disappointing of the season so far. Yes changes were made by MJ. Yes it was a very disappointing 2 v 1 defeat. Inevitably much criticism of the changes made were prevalent, just as there was much praise after the changes and subsequent victory at Exeter.
Everyone demands a Plan B. even a Plan C. To achieve this, different combinations have to be tried. But in League 2 different criteria often apply than in higher divisions. Town have a very creditable League 2 squad - probably the best since the return to Division 4. That squad is at Town for a reason. Routine, confidence, familiarity are the bedrock of winning runs. Once something appears to click it makes sense to many to stick with it, but upon such decisions managers are judged.
                                   Damned if you do. Damned if you don’t.

Particularly poor defending saw Town go in at half-time 2 down.
Every player appeared below par. The second half was more even and eventually with the 3 substitutes on - Moses, Wright and Vernam - the Mighty Mariners approached par.
A terrific goal by Akeem Rose gave hope in the dying minutes, of snatching a point from the jaws of defeat - again! The last 10 minutes demonstrated what should have been. It wasn’t. Hopefully we learn. We move on. Leyton Orient at Blundel next.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : THE B&W ARMY

Lonely Louth Mariner Jason, despairs at the performances of both Town and the ‘peddler’ of fake-news’, Alister - still lost somewhere in Norfolk.
An elderly lady provides ‘motherly’ comfort to The Squire following the poor result.
Old Gits Stuart and Paul took comfort from Tonys absence in warmer climates but were even more excited about forthcoming joint manoeuvres in Plymouth with The Histon Mariners.......



Cornish (Devon) Pasty                  6/10.    Unfortunately flaky rather than shortcrust
      (1 of 3 choices)                                   Good temperature, slightly hot.

                                                                  Salt, Pepper and Sauces all available.

                                                                  Non-alcoholic liquid refreshment available.
                                                                  Bovril perfectly acceptable. PLUS...

....a wonderfully caring and considerate Duty Of Care was on display, just as Nanny would expect.
    Such thoughtfulness raises awareness of dangerous situations that might otherwise not be
    realised and helps create safer environments for football supporters to survive the perils of a
    cup of Bovril whilst watching a match.!!!


It would have been remiss of The Campaign not to have experienced some of the Stevenage hospitality on offer. Accordingly post-match analysis was conducted at ‘Our Mutual Friend.’

With little more to consider after such a disappointing performance, future planning was the main thrust of conversations. However it was also in order that The Squire of Hasland should demonstrate to doubters the depth of experience accumulated through generations of leadership.

The Squire Of Hasland illustrates to The Engine the benefit of generations of breeding as he successfully orders a taxi.
Gareth acknowledges a masterclass of logistical expertise.

The Campaign For Real Football never stops. The short train journey home for The Histon Mariners witnessed conversations with Cambridge Gimp Bill Brogan, also heading home after the Lincoln defeat to The Posh.

Also, looking forward to the visit of Leyton Orient next week, were Anthony Limbrick and John Tondeur.

For R.F.P., the return of Leyton Orient to the 4th.Division is welcome. Muswell Hill Mariner Scott’s journey north will be on board the Orient fans bus and is exactly what The Campaign is about. ‘Muswell Hill(billy) Tales From An Oriental Charabanc’, should be most enlightening.

In Jolley We Trust.


19.10.19 GTFC 0 v 4 Leyton Orient

GTFC v Leyton Orient Ticket
GTFC v Leyton Orient Ticket

The long awaited return of The Chairman to Cleethorpes saw him accompanied by Histon Transport Guru Ray West - whose expertise in umor praefandus transportation should prove particularly useful in Campaigning matters re. the premier league pantomime.
The meticulous planning witnessed in the week prior to Saturdays journey north, by the Rt. Hon. Chairman, was no surprise to President Maurice, The Dean of Fitness and Logistics Director, ‘Roy Cropper’.

Meeting up at Cleethorpes basecamp, The Kingsway Hotel, The Chairman was as ever anxious to proceed with his planned ‘breakfast meeting’. At Operational HQ Willy’s, The President welcomed Ray to The Campaign, whilst The Chairman fully briefed Ray on proceedings. Mr. West appeared a little perplexed that the ‘breakfast meeting’ actually had no food available.

The Chairman continued relentlessly, allowing Maurice to catch up with The Dean’s developing Fitness Programme. Having recently divulged himself of the restoration project element of his role, he was now in the process of overseeing The Barhill Battleaxe’s ventures into pastures new - a round of “‘ere ‘ere.” was heard al round.

‘Think Bubbles’ provided some glamour to proceedings when welcoming Ray, who was a little disappointed that there was no snack bar in the shop, whilst Tina and XXXX were disappointed at the continued absence of Stuart B. (a good customer?).
A 1 v 1 prediction from the debutant and the President over mid-morning coffee at The Notts...
...where Neville discusses his life-long interest in old mares.
The Dean reassures him that his focus will not be prejudiced by his recently acquired 3000th share in Kodiak Pride.
Most unusually The Chairman expresses a degree of satisfaction with proceedings.
XXXX from Cleethorpes Cabs cannot contain herself when thanking The Chairman.

Blundel and B&W Army members as ever provided an enthusiastic welcome to The Histon Mariners.

Airdrie Mariner Will with better half Lauren wait to thank The Chairman for his outstanding leadership.
The Chairman selflessly pursues a policy of self-help and welcomes an opportunity to add value to ‘Mind’ fund-raising efforts.
A hungry Ray, who appeared to be wasting away, was amazed at the welcome from Ethan Robson on behalf of The Mighty Mariners.
In the true spirit of The Campaign, RFP Chesterfield Joe discusses matters with Ray and the President.
The President confers with Town Legend Dave Boylen (formerly with Ryder Brow B.C.) about past footballing battles....D.B. struggles to recall!
The President recounts similar tales with former teammate Steve.
Malcom tries to stay awake, as he listens for the umpteenth time.
Final preparations by The Chairman, ensured his total, uninterrupted concentration in the game ahead.
As the game proceeds, The Dean can only marvel at the total concentration of The Chairman.
E.Halton Mariner Paul and Caistor Mariner Ian, can only stand and marvel - an absent Pez enabled a better view!

                                                 Oh dear, Oh dear.
A total of 5 changes, some enforced plus some of choice - cue the praise if victorious, the condemnation if beaten. However such a sizeable defeat raises emotions and attracts knee-jerk reactions.
The first half at Stevenage the previous week was the poorest this season. The first half against the O’s was little better but once again, Town fell behind, going in 0 v 2 at the interval.

In all 19 games in this season, Town have taken the lead on 4 occasions!!!

Hendrie continues to play short of the standards he set last season, which sympathetically maybe the result of playing in different positions this season.
Ohman surprisingly returned after 6 games out, and looked rusty.
Hewitt looks less a midfield player than a fullback/wingback Hessenthaler needs creative outlets around him.
Clifton, presumably played because of Robson’s late injury, and whist apparently carrying a reoccurring injury is not playing at the standard he would expect.

Vernam looked isolated.
Akeem Rose, last week, looked dangerous as an impact substitute scoring a great goal, but his full starts have disappointed and is behind the injured Max Wright as a wide starting player.
Hanson has lost his early season form and wins fewer and fewer of his aerial battles week by week.

Overall the early season team spirit and collectiveness is less discernible.
Collectively these issues raise concerns about off-field matters.
Stories about micro-management may or may not be true but without doubt The Mighty Mariners need to pick the best team, let partnerships and confidence evolve. Let form be the essential determinant of selection with a mind to occasional exceptional circumstance.

The introduction of Ogbu and Green, for Clifton and Vernam, at half-time, witnessed a degree of improvement. Hanson ballooned from 3 yards and third substitute, Whitehouse only needed to redirect his header from a similar distance - if those 2 chances had fallen the other way round things may well have taken a different course. But such a fickle path of fate would have obscured some of the reasonably aired concerns.

In an effort to retrieve the deficit Town were woefully exposed, conceded 2 more goals which deepened the anxieties of the B&W Army.
The fact that The O’s had 4 former Mariners in their team rubbed salt into a gaping wound.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : LIAM GIBSON

A difficult day on the pitch rarely if ever affects The Campaign off the pitch. An initial post-match consultation centered on uplifting and thought provoking insights from The Chairman - with Maurice and The Fish clearly enthralled.

The Dean ever keen to learn, struggled to take on board the incoherent ramblings of Neville at the New Imperial Club, who may well have been knocked off balance by his mineral water, rumoured to have the incorrect quantity of ice.

Onto the Nottingham House where the usual array of excellent beverages supplemented extensive discussions between The Logistics Director, Andy (not Nigel!) Lowther and a perplexed John Tondeur.
BUT not without precedent and most significant was The Chairman’s Impromptu Forum. The Histon Mariners are used to his unique demeanour, insight, bonhomie and wit but for those anxious to meet him for the first time, could not have been anything other than underwhelmed.

The Chairman prepares to meet his audience.

The Chairman's legendary appearance in Stallingborough ( 01.04.2017 ) had been well recorded in local folklore. It had been inspired by his awareness of the Cambridge-Healing connection that echoed the long standing Cambridge-Cleethorpes connection i.e. the industrial presence of Ciba-Geigy. As a result The Chairman had always identified the Healing area as a vital area for The Campaign. It was the legend of this appearance that had created the lifetime ambition of Healing Mariner Gill (“with a G not a J”) to meet Neville. Along with friend Cleethorpes Mariner Lisa, Gill’s excitement, quite understandably could hardly be contained as she thanked him for such selfless devotion.

At the same event, the meeting of The Chairman with Grimsby Mariner Rod was a meeting of minds, the like of which is rarely witnessed. These 2 long standing Town stalwarts enthusiastically exchanged tales and memories that was an absolute pleasure to witness. Rod following Town for 50 years since his father Mally Fleet introduced him, could only despair that his path had never crossed that of The Chairman.
All those who witnessed this meeting of heavyweights, agreed that such a combination could well have led to a double act to rival the likes of The Chuckle Brothers and Abbot & Costello.

All good things come to an end and The Histon Mariners moved onto The Smugglers where Promotion Plaice and Kingsway Simon continued the post-match analysis. Whilst concern was naturally evident, glasses remained half-full or in PP’s case his bottle was completely empty!

The Campaign continues unabated. The regular ‘downs’ on the pitch are endured, as the ‘ups’ off the pitch continually provide the essential nourishment that Real Football People crave.

Next up, the draw for the F.A.Cup followed by a trip to the Abbey Stadium.....we trust our prayers are well received.

We hope and trust Jolley will pass his Cambridge examination!

22.10.19 Cambridge UTD 0 v 0 GTFC

Cambridge UTD v GTFC Ticket
Cambridge UTD v GTFC Ticket

Birthplace of the first Campaign For Real Ale Beer Festival In 1974 and thus the longest running Beer Festival In Britain.
It is also the birthplace of the Rules of Association Football. 1863 saw representatives of the 6 most significant public schools meet in Cambridge to codify their different rules of football. They were published as The Cambridge Rules and taken up for consideration by The Football Association - thus kick stated they game of the people!

Recent significance births in Cambridge include Richard Attenborough, founder of St.Trinians, Ronald Searle, Pink Floyd members Syd Barrett (founder) and Dave Gilmour, Olivia Newton-John, and 70’s band Katrina and the waves (Walking On Sunshine)

The ‘U’s’were founded as Abbey United in 1912. They were a nomadic team who settled at their current Abbey Stadium in 1949. Since 2006 Cambridge United have had numerous plans for a new stadium thwarted in a similar vein to The Mighty Mariners.
A Cambridge United existed as well from 1909 but had no links to the club we know today who became Cambridge United in the year of The Festival Of Britain, 1951. The ‘U’s’ were elected to the football league in 1970.

A long mid-week journey south, on the back of the preceding poor run, would challenge many but the B&W Army still arrived 369 strong. Chesterfield Mariner stalwarts journey south concluded at The Kingston Arms where recuperation and preparation were indulged in contented harmony.

RFP Will and Sophie welcome Mariner supporters on behalf of United supporters.
Roy discloses info. from long ago college days to a disbelieving Walthamstow Mariner Lisa.
TefMan appears proud to be of service to The Squire. Former college associate, Isleham Mariner, Russel considers the tales yet to be raised!!

En route to the Abbey Stadium, TefMan recounted previous visits to Cambridge. His logistical duties necessitates retention of such information in order he can respond to the needs of The Squire as appropriate. He recalled visits to:
           The Wrestlers - where local taxi firms, standby to transport The Squire as required.
           The Cambridge Blue - visits determined by refreshment needs.
           The Red Lion, Histon - previously a firm favourite, surprisingly not now as welcoming.
           The Dobblers - not necessarily first choice...........

TefMan passes on the benefit of his experience to a very appreciative Tim and Derby Dan.
Leading light of the GTFC Supporters Club, Moira, appreciates the journey endured by Histon Mariner Logistics Director to get to The Abbey.
Inside the Abbey Stadium, The Fish, The Fringe (poorly hidden) and Muswel Hill Mariner compare notes.

It is pleasing to report Muswel Hill Mariner Scott’s expedition from the south to Blundel aboard the ‘Orient Charabanc’ amongst RFP was conducted in great spirits. The journey back home however was endured with great fortitude. The journey south was probably made more endurable by Scott’s rediscovering his appetite for scoring at the crease and the news of his scoring off the pitch!

Gerry particularly pleased with a dead mongoose on his head.
Grimsby Mariner Mr.Owen in a state of disbelief.

Never one to miss an opportunity to assist with research in support of The Campaign TefMan spotted a perfect opportunity but...

...on arrival at the point of dispense The Squire pointed out to the total disbelief of TefMan the non-availability of the desired fare.



No pies on sale!                                0/10. No pies offered for sale at all!!!

Alternative Cheeseburger                 5/10. Extra point deducted because of necessity to try
                                                                   unwanted alternative.
                                                                   Dry (stale?) roll. Burger Ok.
                                                                   Cheese melted. Choice of al dente or well cooked
                                                                   Temperature Ok.

                                                   Sauces, salt and pepper all available.


                                 Damned if you do. Damned if you don’t.
MJ had recently been increasingly criticised for tinkering with team selection but changes were necessary for the visit to the University town, where MJ would once again face a stern examination, in order to halt a run of 3 consecutive league defeats.
3 changes and a change in formation to 5-3-2 was an understandable indication of intent, given recent results.

Obviously McKeown’s penalty save enabled parity to be maintained.
Other than the penalty incident, for all the possession and dominance of the ‘U’s’, Town were never put under severe pressure. The three centre-backs Ohman, Pollock and Waterfall looked assured. Gibson again solid and Hendrie looked a little like his old self. The time might well have arrived when Pollock is now first choice centre-back: his recovery from a rare first-half mistake indicated a level of confidence and ability that warrants such elevation.

Given the ‘U’s’, on the back of a decent run and a victory by the same margin as Towns last defeat, were likely to start on the ascendancy, the unfolding scenario was no surprise. And accordingly the mid-field and attack were as expected involved in a rearguard action of hurry-scurry and work rate rather than a display of enterprising and skilful attacking football. In this context the 5 forward players could not be faulted for their work rate.
Roses introduction late on caused some problems for Cambridge and The Mighty Mariners could have nicked all 3 points.
However most would have taken 0 v 0 beforehand which is more often than not an indication of context.
Only the 3rd clean-sheet in 15 league games this season!

Jolley passed his Cambridge examination.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : MATT POLLOCK

"His name is a fish"

Such a game even more so than usual tends to draw multifarious views especially from those not in attendance. With this in mind the views of the opposing Manager should provide some balance. Cambridge Manager, Colin Calderwood a respected manager and international player of some repute spoke after game.

A further dimension of the game was provided by a well wrapped-up “Jolley Boy Tony (?)”, who despite his constant battle with the temperature, managed to enlighten all around him with acute observations and analysis.

Those surrounding him (not many from the evidence above) took onboard his assessment of the linesman’s inability to spot a foul throw because of a raised foot. Unfortunately it was pointed out by members of his audience (Paul) that Tony would take his observations back onboard the coach for analysis for the entire duration of the journey back to Cleethorpes.

Paul lets the cat out of the bag! Judith as ever remains diplomatically silent.
Emma and Stuart struggle with Tony’s analysis.
Pete looks forward to the journey home......!

Journeys home have produced many stories none more so than missed connections at Doncaster. On 23.03.19 after a similar 0 v 0 against Bury (!) saw many of The B&W Army stranded en route from Cleethorpes. Amongst those waiting for cabs to continue south, were Addlestone Rob and Young Mariner Tilly. After a same 0 v 0 result presumably against a team who will remain in the football league, the journey from Cambridge would prove less arduous and thus encourage consideration of a point gained rather than a point lost.

The Campaign Marches On. Onwards and Upwards.


Up The Mariners! 

Thanks to css zen garden for the layout.